Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category

Thinking of buying a House? Now is the time – with no down payment

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Patrick McCarran 2015By Patrick McCarran

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

The primary reason to buy now is that mortgage rates are still at historic lows. This is driven largely by the continuing market corrections after the Fed pulled back on their bond purchases and the stock market continues to stabilize. However unbelievable low rates will not last forever and can increase literally overnight. The Fed has made it clear that they plan to raise the prime rate and while this does not directly effect mortgage rates it will effect the banks bottom line and almost definitely trigger an increase in interest rates.

We tend to make financial plans looking backward, learning the lessons of our past experiences but ignoring the future. That’s why we don’t buy stocks at the “bottom” but instead when they are “hot”; In a similar scenario, that’s probably why people aren’t buying homes right now, despite still relatively low home prices and historically low finance rates.

The why you should own is relatively easy. Rents will continue to rise and are unpredictable, when you own you know what the payments will be and it your home not the landlord to dictate rules. The mortgage interest is still the largest deduction for the middle class. Mortgage interest rates remain historically low and there is affair amount of inventory from which to choose. Long-term homeownership continues to be one of the best ways for the typical American to build wealth.

So what’s holding you back? Down Payment? Many people are intimidated by the widely publicized 20-percent down-payment requirement. They don’t realize that there are many federal programs designed to help homebuyers, and even those who have lost their homes to foreclosure.
For example, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have loans available to first-time buyers with as little as 3-percent down payment and the FHA has similar programs that require 3.5 percent down and payment. If you qualify there are a number of programs and grants that can help with the down payment. With a seller credit for closing costs I have gotten buyers into a home for as little as $1500 out of pocket. For veterans, the VA program has no-down-payment loans available for qualifying military members and veterans that can close with almost no out of pocket money.

Why wait? What’s the worst that could happen if you buy a home now? You’ve already seen it, the 2007 mortgage crisis. It will take generations, if ever, before the government lets the banking systems get that far out of hand again. It is far more likely that home prices will steadily climb as they have been. Americans are getting back to work and leading the global economy out of stagnation. So don’t be blinded to the future by your past experiences. The American population will continue to grow and build families of all types, creating more demand for housing. Don’t view your home as a trading vehicle or a one-way-up investment. Instead, look at the home-ownership benefits that are mostly forgotten by today’s potential homebuyers — the chance to build equity (instead of throwing rent down the drain) and the opportunity to customize your own environment.

That’s what has always motivated Americans to own their own home. And it isn’t going to change in the long run.

If you want to get started or have any questions give a call or send me an email and Debra Westlund (925) 783-2052 and myself would be happy to help you get started and help you set up an action plan.

Patrick McCarran is a local Realtor and can be reached at (925) 899-5536, pmccarran@yahoo.com or www.CallPatrick.com.

©2015 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties an independently owned and operated franchisee of BHHS Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire.

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Real Estate Answers: Buy today with no down payment

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Patrick McCarran 2015By Patrick McCarran

The primary reason to buy a home, now is mortgage rates are still at historic lows. This is driven largely by the continuing market corrections after the Fed pulled back on their bond purchases and the stock market continues to stabilize. However, unbelievable low rates will not last forever and can increase literally overnight. The Fed has made it clear that they plan to raise the Prime Rate and while this does not directly effect mortgage rates it will effect the banks’ bottom line and almost definitely trigger an increase in interest rates.

We tend to make financial plans looking backward, learning the lessons of our past experiences but ignoring the future. That’s why we don’t buy stocks at the “bottom” but instead when they are “hot”. In a similar scenario, that’s probably why people aren’t buying homes right now, despite still relatively low home prices and historically low finance rates.

Rents will continue to rise and are unpredictable, when you own you know what the payments will be and it your home not the landlord to dictate rules. Plus, mortgage interest is still the largest deduction for the middle class. Interest rates remain historically low and there is a fair amount of inventory from which to choose. Long-term home ownership continues to be one of the best ways for the typical American to build wealth.

So what’s holding you back? Down Payment? Many people are intimidated by the widely publicized 20% down payment requirement. They don’t realize that there are many federal programs designed to help homebuyers, and even those who have lost their homes to foreclosure.

For example, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have loans available to first-time buyers with as little as 3% down payment and the FHA has similar programs that require 3.5% down payment. If you qualify there are a number of programs and grants that can help with the down payment. With a seller credit for closing costs I’ve helped buyers into a home for as little as $1,500 out of pocket. For veterans, the VA program has no-down-payment loans available for qualifying military members and veterans that can close with almost no out of pocket money.

Why wait? What’s the worst that could happen if you buy a home, now? You’ve already seen it, the 2007 mortgage crisis. It will take generations, if ever, before the government lets the banking systems get that far out of hand again. It is far more likely that home prices will steadily climb as they have been. Americans are getting back to work and leading the global economy out of stagnation. So don’t be blinded to the future by your past experiences. The American population will continue to grow and build families of all types, creating more demand for housing. Don’t view your home as a trading vehicle or a one-way-up investment. Instead, look at the home-ownership benefits that are mostly forgotten by today’s potential homebuyers — the chance to build equity (instead of throwing rent down the drain) and the opportunity to customize your own environment.

That’s what has always motivated Americans to own their own home. It’s not going to change in the long run.

If you want to get started or have questions call me or Debra Westlund at (925) 783-2052 and we’ll help you get started with an action plan.

Patrick McCarran is a local Realtor and can be reached at (925) 899-5536, pmccarran@yahoo.com or at www.CallPatrick.com.

© 2015 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties, an independently owned and operated franchisee of BHHS Affiliates, LLC. Equal Housing Opportunity

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Real Estate Answers: Avoid these 7 staging mistakes

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Patrick McCarran 2015By Patrick McCarran

You may love your home, but that doesn’t mean that everyone coming through the door will feel the same way. Everyone has their own particular tastes and style. When selling a home the goal is to allow the buyer to see themselves in the homes and help give them a vision of what they can do to make it their Home.

1. Don’t be too personal: Home staging is meant to create a neutral canvas that will appeal to the majority of buyers. Staging is all about de-personalizing the space, and creating more of a look that will appeal to most everyone. This is not the time to bring in your unique style and create a look that appeals to just you.

2. Use neutral colors: If painting, you should choose nice neutral and warm beige tones. You’ll be amazed at the transformation a few coats of fresh paint will make on your home.

3. Take advantage of natural light: People love natural light, so don’t block any light with heavy curtains or furniture. Accentuate any attractive views. Anything dated in a home is a turn-off to a potential buyer and window treatments are one of them. Don’t be afraid to take down the curtains and just use the blind or just leave the valance.

4. Less is more: Scale down your furniture to be in balance with the scale of the room. Remember that the purpose of furniture when selling a home is to define the purpose of the room and to show what will fit where.

5. Take a look outside: People care about the outside space just as much as the inside, so add flowers, add bark or rocks, make sure the lawn is mowed, the yard is tidy and add a few backyard accessories.

6. Stage ALL rooms: People are quick to stage living rooms and kitchens and but don’t forget to spruce up the bedrooms, flex space and closets as well.

7. Don’t forget fixtures: When staging a home, it’s important to ensure all lights are burning with fresh bulbs, and that all fixtures are working.

Remember, staging a home means showcasing the property’s many features, not concealing its flaws. Make sure your house is in good condition and use staging to cast the home in the best light.

Patrick McCarran is a local Realtor/ Broker and can be reached at (925) 899-5536 or www.CallPatrick.com. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties an independently owned and operated franchisee of BHHS Affiliates, LLC.. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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Real Estate Answers: Preserve equity, build for the future using a 1031 Tax Exchange

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Patrick McCarran 2015By Patrick McCarran

With the recent upswing in homes values we have realized a growth in equity as well. This leaves many owners thinking that they may be stuck in an investment property? Whether you bought it as an investment or it was an owner occupied that went past you 3 year deferment period you have options. Maybe you would prefer an investment in a different city, region or even another state? Possibly you would like to combine many properties into few or few into many? The answer is a 1031 Tax Exchanges otherwise known as a Starker Exchange. This process allows real estate owners to defer taxes on capital gains resulting from the sale of investment real estate, often a sizable sum since combined Federal and State taxes can run as high as 38 percent.

In general terms to roll their profit into another property and defer the tax and preserve equity and cash flow.

To accomplish this, sellers need to engage a Qualified 1031 Intermediary to document the sale as an exchange and to receive the funds from the sale. I cannot stress the importance of a third party for the exchange. This does not mean a title or escrow company. By definition you can not have any direct control over the funds, which is not just in your pocket but anywhere within your reach

Central to a 1031 Exchange is the interpretation of like-kind property. While the common assumption is that like-kind implies land for land or a condominium for a condominium swap, the definition of like kind has become far less literal. Today it defines like kind as meaning that both the replacement and the original property must be used as an investment. So land, condominiums, single-family homes and motels can all be exchanged for one another as long as they are used in the exchanger’s business or held as an investment.

1031 Exchanges do have specific IRS requirements and a set time frame for performing. This is why it is very important that you contact an experience agent such as myself and engage the Intermediary BEFORE you close and ideally before you place the property for sale.

There are other options for example you can opt for a Reverse Exchange where you buy the replacement property first then sell the current property. An Improvement Exchange, allows you to build investment properties from the ground up or improve existing properties.

If you want more information on 1031 Exchange or have any questions feel free to contact myself or a real estate professional you know. Make sure that he or she is familiar not only with the process but also with the specific documentation and time frame mandated by the IRS.

This article is intended to inform readers, but does not constitute any financial or legal advice.

Patrick McCarran is a local Realtor/Broker and can be reached at (925) 899-5536 or www.CallPatrick.com. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties an independently owned and operated franchisee of BHHS Affiliates, LLC. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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Delta Association of Realtors announces 2015 Officers and Board of Directors

Thursday, April 16th, 2015
2015 Delta Association Officers and Directors, with John Bedford, Executive Director, front row, far right. Photo by Rick Felix.

Delta Association of Realtors 2015 Officers and Directors. (L-R) Cecily Tippery, Lori Ogorchock, Rena Provencio, Monica Malcuit, Jodi Marfia, Errol Mooney, Mary Jane Dukellis, Ron Keefer, Angela Johns, Ralph Garrow, Denise Stewart, John Canning and John Bedford. (Not pictured: James Britto, who was installed as 2015 President separately.) Photo by Rick Felix

APRIL 13, 2015 • ANTIOCH, CA The Delta Association of REALTORS® welcomed 2015 President James Britto and the association’s 2015 officers and directors at their installation dinner dance, held January 16 at the Lone Tree Golf and Event Center, Antioch.

Officers installed were Errol Mooney, President Elect; Lori Ogorchock, Treasurer; Ron Keefer, Immediate Past President; and John Bedford,Secretary. Members of the Board of Directors are John Canning, Mary Jane Dukellis, Ralph Garrow, Angela Johns, Monica Malcuit, Jodi Marfia, Rena Provencio, Denise Stewart, and Cecily Tippery.

President Britto’s 2015 theme is The Best is Yet to Come. “I truly believe that we have stabilized our markets, and that we have weathered the storm. We have an opportunity to rebuild the trust and restore the dream of homeownership in our communities and show that REALTORS® are still trusted advisors and civic leaders,” he said.

For more information or for interview opportunities, contact John Bedford, Executive Officer, at johnb@deltaaor.com or 925 757 8283 or visit www.deltaaor.com.

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Maximize your home’s value

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Patrick McCarranBy Patrick McCarran, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Spring is here and the market is fairly balanced. Although inventories are still very low, buyers are not feeling rushed. One thing that has not changed is that most of the homebuyers in today’s’ market are looking for properties that don’t require a lot of work or “turn key homes”. A home that says WOW to a buyer will still command top dollar and multiple offers.

Your goal is to get the buyer to say WOW at least three times. First when they pull up to the house, aka curb appeal, next as they walk through the house and lastly as they leave. To accomplish this inspect both inside and outside the home. Make a list of repairs or upgrades include the little things and the larger things. Traditionally the staples for increased value are a fresh coat of paint on the walls, doors, and trim. Paint the front door or at minimum give it a good cleaning. Power wash the sidewalks, entry and driveways, add some fresh mulch around landscaping. Organize the closets and cupboards so they don’t looks stuffed.

Take a look at the light fixtures, the bathroom and kitchen faucets. Repair dripping faucets and drains that aren’t operating or maybe they need updating. Think about upgrading to granite prices today are low and return is high. This is a great opportunity to update with minimal cost and excellent return. Remember it is often the little things such as burned-out bulbs, broken sockets or switches and loose railings. Replace torn screens, broken fencing and put a fresh coat of stain on the fences and the deck.

I recommend hiring a professional home inspector to thoroughly and impartially evaluate the property. A standard report will review the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, and visible structure.

By obtaining the pre-inspection it avoids any surprises and allows you to review and prioritize the list of repairs.

Staging is an excellent way of showcasing the positive attributes of your home to maximize return. This does not necessarily need to be a full blown redecorating of your home but can be as simple as the need to de-personalize the home. This does NOT mean taking down and hiding every personal picture but it does mean to minimize. Start packing that rare clown collection or the special teddy bear room. What may be “charming” to the seller may seem off-putting to a prospective buyer. The basics of staging are neutral but not plain, less is definitely more, let the light in, and remember to review all the rooms.

A home in good condition demonstrates pride of ownership. Taking the time to give your home a tune up and make it say WOW to a buyer this will go a long way in making sure that you get the most return out of your home. Please feel free to contact me for a free consultation and to help you develop an action plan.

Patrick McCarran is a local Realtor and can be reached at (925) 899-5536, pmccarran@yahoo.com or www.CallPatrick.com.

© 2015 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties an independently owned and operated franchiseeof BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire HathawayHomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.®Equal Housing Opportunity. Information not verified or guaranteed. If your home is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation

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Answers to common questions about Escrow

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Patrick McCarranBy Patrick McCarran, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

An offer has been accepted and a closing date has been set. Now the home is about to go through escrow. But what does that really mean? The following are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about escrow and the escrow process.

What is escrow?

Escrow is a process that begins when the offer papers are signed by both parties and ends when the loan is approved and both the buyer and seller have fulfilled all the necessary requirements. For instance the escrow company will obtain instructions from all parties such as the lender, the seller and the buyer. Once these instructions have been met or completed then the escrow company will redistributed to the involved parties such as the buyer will receive title or ownership of the property, the seller will receive funds, the sellers lender with be paid off and the buyers lender will receive loan documents that the buyer has agreed to repay.

What is an escrow holder?

The escrow holder is a neutral third party agent of the principals—buyer, seller, lender, and borrower—which facilitates the transfer of ownership by ensuring that the terms of the transaction are completed. This includes safeguarding all funds (including the buyer’s deposit) and documents. Once all the details have been settled, the escrow holder disburses the funds and documents to the appropriate parties.

What does the escrow have to do with items that must be done to the property before it is sold?

Escrow is also a process. The escrow company keeps track of various terms and conditions throughout the term of the contract and acts as an enforcer for both sides insuring that contract terms are honored. The escrow holder keeps track of obligations of the seller or buyer. For example, if the seller is required to supply a termite inspection, the escrow holder would make sure it is fulfilled before any funds are transferred to the seller. Findings in the termite inspection report must be corrected on or before the close of escrow.

How does the escrow company interact with the title company?

The escrow holder receives a complete ownership history of the property and any liens on record in the preliminary title report. Anything that is out of the ordinary, such as condo liens, judgments, etc., against the buyer and seller must be clarified prior to close of escrow.

Why does the escrow process take so long?

The escrow process can be any number of days depending on what is agreed upon between the buyer and the seller. To assure a timely closing, you can check with the escrow holder on specific items that will help move the process along. For example, the buyer should do things like inform the escrow holder of the name and phone number of his or her insurance agent as soon as possible. The homeowners insurance policy needs to be ordered early, so verification can be made with the lender. The lender will not fund a new loan without a homeowners policy. If there is a delay, the escrow process may be delayed. It also helps to make sure that the funds provided are “good” because the escrow will only close on cleared funds. You want to consider a more secure form of payment, rather than a personal check, which can take up to a week to process.

What happens with the check I give to the escrow company?

Most buyers think that their check will not be cashed until the close of escrow, but that is not the case. The check is cashed by the escrow company immediately, and held in a trust account. If anything out of the ordinary is to be done at the close of escrow with the seller’s proceeds, the escrow holder must be notified. A signed amendment is required for wiring funds or splitting proceeds.

If you have questions about the escrow process, confer with your real estate professionals who can help provide you with more detail with this or any other home buying or selling subject..

Patrick McCarran is a local Realtor and can be reached at (925) 899-5536, pmccarran@yahoo.com or www.CallPatrick.com.

© 2015 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties an independently owned and operated franchiseeof BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire HathawayHomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.®Equal Housing Opportunity. Information not verified or guaranteed. If your home is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation

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Office Space Available in Antioch

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

5109 Lone Tree Way Suite A

Approximately 1650-1690 SQ FT

Four Private offices\Rooms

Lobby with 6-8 L-shaped Desks

Kitchen room

Ladies and Men restrooms

Contact: Najib Zafari

Phone: (925) 209-7685

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